Port Elizabeth – The Kings have rung the changes for their final Super Rugby
round-robin match of the season against the Sharks in Durban on
Saturday, as they strive to keep their players fresh for the
promotion-relegation matches against the Lions.
players who started against the Stormers have retained their places for
the clash in Durban, the Kings’ last chance to win a South African
In the absence of injured centre Andries Strauss, robust
lock Steven Sykes takes over the captaincy, while long-serving Kings
flank Mpho Mbiyozo has been handed a debut and says he is determined to
grab his chance with both hands.
“This has come as surprise,” Mbiyozo, a former South African Sevens star, said.
got back from playing for the EP Kings in Welkom and Solly (Alan
Solomons) called me into his office on Monday and told me I would be
“Prior to that I had no idea what his plans were.”
other players who have been selected for their first Super Rugby match
match are Baby Bok Aidon Davis and Thabo Majomela, who will both start
on the bench.
“There are a number of changes and we have players
who are carrying injuries, but there is nobody we are concerned about
that will not be able to make it through to the promotion/relegation
matches. But obviously they are not right for the weekend,” Kings
director of rugby Alan Solomons said.
“It is great to see guys
coming through from our academy. We have got Siviwe Soyizwapi, Shane
Gates and Aidon Davis who are all in the squad.”
centres Andries Strauss and Ronnie Cooke are both carrying injuries
which has resulted in a new pairing of Waylon Murray and Shane Gates
being chosen to play in Durban.
“This is a great chance for Shane to get game time,” Solomons said.
has been on the bench because you always have to have a reserve in case
“For Waylon it is fantastic opportunity.
“Waylon was born
and bred in Durban and he played for the Sharks at the start of his
15. Siviwe Soyizwapi, 14. Hadleigh Parkes, 13. Waylon Murray, 12. Shane Gates, 11. Marcello Sampson, 10. George Whitehead, 9. Nicolas Vergallo, 8. Jacques Engelbrecht, 7. Mpho Mbiyozo, 6. Devin Oosthuizen, 5. David Bulbring, 4. Steven Sykes (captain), 3. Kevin Buys, 2. Hannes Franklin, 1. Charl du Plessis
Substitutes: 16. Grant Kemp, 17. Bandise Maku, 18. Darron Nell, 19. Thabo Mamojelle, 20. Aidon Davis, 21. Shaun Venter, 22. Michael Killian